I was 11 when the sexual abuse started. I never imagined he could hurt me in such a way, I remember seeing things like that in the newspapers and thought to myself “How could that happen?” . I just didn’t think it was possible so I was convinced that could never happen to me BUT I WAS SO WRONG. I was never raped, I was molested and when it first happened I was so confused. I was young I wasn’t quite aware of sex and how it worked exactly so I wasn’t entirely sure what was going on. At first I thought it was maybe a dream but until it happened again I knew it wasn’t a dream and I knew it was real. Along being molested and abused physically for the past 1-2 years I turned to self harm. Of course I never told anyone because I was scared shitless, I felt worthless, I hated my body, I was embarrassed and so much more. After four years I had the guts to tell my mother about what had been going on. My mother wasn’t the greatest mother, she was impolite and neglectful so when I did tell her she almost sent me back home to my dad. I refused. It took me four years to tell someone about what had been destroying me for what felt like ages and she almost sent me back. I needed support. Upon telling my mother the biggest secret of my life I was in just a bad place and she helped me by telling my entire family about what had been going on, she was spreading it like wild fire as if it was some time of gossip. I was angry and upset because my family didn’t believe me and on top of that I thought they would never look at me in the same way because of the lack of support I attempted suicide. When I was 15/16 I did report it to the police and my father got a 5 and a half year sentence. I admit the first time I talked about in so much detail was to an officer and it was one of the hardest things to do, but what was important was that I got myself out of that dangerous environment, although t he environment I ended up in wasn’t great at all. I suffered from PTSD quite bad and was depressed from being in such an unsupportive environment. I do currently have an amazing boyfriend who did help to support me during the court process.. I admit doing anything sexual took me a very long time and even when I thought I was ready – I wasn’t. Now I am more comfortable with sexual activity, I am on my way to loving myself although I still have quite a big journey for that. All I can say is, It’s really hard – you’re going to want to give up and think you’re worthless but just know your life does mean something and you are worth it. I would say the most important thing to recovery is to remove yourself from that environment, I know it may seem scary or difficult but any place is better. You can and will get through this and you are strong enough.